Controversial Jax Ethics commission nominee pulled from consideration

Leslie Jean-Bart

In the wake of a springtime clash between anti-Trump protesters and Jacksonville police officers, a very public clash soon ensued on Facebook between Jacksonville Ethics Commission nominee Leslie Jean-Bart and Fraternal Order of Police head Steve Zona.

That clash — which involved, among other things, Jean-Bart defending protesters using the inflammatory phrase “f— the police” by posting that “Also, F*** the Police is protected free speech. I’m not going to condemn it because there is no reason to do so” — has now reached denouement.

And it appears Jean-Bart will not be moving toward the Ethics Commission anytime soon.

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville City Council Rules Committee moved 6-0 to withdraw Jean-Bart’s nomination. And Tuesday evening in Jacksonville City Council, the full legislative body likely will do the same.

The nomination was withdrawn at the request of its sponsor: Public Defender Charles Cofer, who was endorsed by the police union and Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams in his primary pillowfight against the scandal-damaged former incumbent.

Rules Chair Garrett Dennis also noted Sunday evening that FOP Head Zona indicated some discomfort about Jean-Bart’s nomination.

If protesters had quoted almost any other late-1980s hip hop song, Jean-Bart likely would be on Ethics as of Tuesday evening.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Ray Roberts

    May 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

    So the Jax elite can’t handle an Ethics committee person standing up for free speech protected by the Constitution. What exactly are the qualifications they are seeking? Sycophant?

    That seems to be at odds with an Ethics committee standard.

  • Karen

    May 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    If you’re sitting in judgment of ethical behavior then you need to be an individual who promotes ethical behavior. This woman is a racist and needs to be gone!

    • Lynn

      May 9, 2017 at 6:05 am

      Because she followed the constitution. The words may not be the most appropriate however freedom of speech allows self expression. Not what you want to hear, the KKK sends notes, says whatever, congressman shout you lie to a sitting President but that’s ok not racist? I heard someone say it’s freedom of speech and so it is. Double standards Americans

    • Michael Corby

      May 9, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      How is she racist? That warrants and explanation.

  • Karen Olson

    May 8, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Promoting the murder of police officers under the guise of free speech is a disgrace for any decent human being and especially this so-called attorney who wants to be on the ethics commission.

    • Michael Corby

      May 9, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      How is saying F the Police promoting murder? Saying Murder the Police would be promoting the murder of police. Are you interpreting words selectively?

      • Karen

        May 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        Michael and Mike,
        I was at Hemming Park listening to progressives screaming F the police, kill the police, and other disgusting obscenities. Four people physically attacked police officers and were arrested. A fifth was arrested the following weekend.
        This is what Ms Jean-Bart is defending!
        Selectively choosing the word f—- for any reason is vile, degrading, vicious and evil. If this is your idea of free speech then I feel sorry for you.

        • Michael Corby

          May 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm

          Four people attacked the police? If so, after what provocation? You’re leaving out important details, not the least of which is the police have guns and other weapons, the police were an orchestrated force who had indicated even the night before (on social media–look it up) that they were targeting two people they knew would be at the protest. Last but not least, the provocateur Gary Snow, who initiated the physical attacks, was not and has not been arrested, and was later chumming around with the police, even sitting on their vehicles. You try sitting on a police car and see what happens to you. Feel sorry for us if you must for supporting the right to free speech and to peacefully assemble. I feel sorry for you for being happy with only part of the information and for not questioning anything because it’s what you’re told to do. When corrupt police officers are attacking you and your like-minded friends, see what you do in that situation. You don’t seem very bright or curious. You’d be an easy target for bully police officers if they ever decide to target you. Think about that.

          • Karen

            May 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

            Anyone who says something you don’t like is stupid, police are corrupt, it was all Bills’ fault, social media has all the facts.
            Sure, yeah, uh huh! You got it boy!

          • Ray Roberts

            May 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

            Thank you Karen. That response confirms Michael’s comment.

          • Michael Corby

            May 11, 2017 at 1:29 am

            Karen’s response to this makes no sense. I gave her way too much credit in the thinking critically department.

  • Mike

    May 8, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Saying “F the police” isn’t promoting the act of murdering police. It’s supposed to bring attention to why people say “F the police.” Saying it shouldn’t be denounced. What SHOULD be denounced is the fact that people aren’t asking WHY people say “F the police.”

Comments are closed.


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